Strange sounds are echoing around the world. A group of researchers, led by a ufologist begin an expedition to track down the point of origin from which the sounds emerge. Yet as their journey deepens, they begin to discover more than they bargained for.

As if fallen from the sky, twelve people suddenly appear on a farm, claiming to have been abducted by aliens and transported from the year 2074. Soon after, strange noises begin to emit from the sky putting everyone in town on edge, that is, except for a motley crew of amateur ufologists who are excited to investigate the strange new happenings. Little do they know… They are coming. From the producers of Gremlin (2017) and The Nun (2018), High Octane Pictures and co-writer/director Conrad Faraj’s movie Fighting the Sky is a sci-fi flick starring Angela Cole (White Boy Rick) and a fresh-faced ensemble cast.

Lorraine (Cole) is the former head of the Unexplained Research Society, a group of phenomenon aficionados at a local college. After leaving without explanation for a year, she returns home where soon after strange sounds begin to emanate from the sky. Some are excited by the prospect of the first alien visitation to earth, others are either incredulous or running scared. The lure of the strange sounds and her old friends’ insistence convinces Lorraine to take up the captain’s chair again, and while one day conducting an experiment to record and analyze the sounds, the friends are nearly abducted themselves. They escape to her family cabin in the woods, but public safety announcements begin sounding on television screens and they realize the world is under a complete alien invasion.

In addition to this paranormal posse, the movie also follows a group of kids who are similarly on the run from the alien abductors, lead by the intelligent and resourceful Valerie (Jenette Faraj), a recent acquaintance of Lorraine’s and a fellow enthusiast. Seeking refuge at the cabin, the two groups band together to survive the night of extraterrestrial invaders. Lorraine, however, discovers a strange marking on her hand from her earlier encounter with one of the aliens – branded with their symbol, she realizes that she is the key to the group’s survival.

Ok, I have so many questions! Unfortunately not for good reasons though. It is not the kind of science fiction that makes you think; there is nary even a lesson to be learned from this film although it had every opportunity to at least be a coming of age movie with such a young cast, à la Super 8. Instead, it kept me wondering about its narrative choices and plot holes. Why is the makeup so heavy-handed on the women? What even is the direction of this movie? With aliens, time travel, and abductions going on, it has a bit of a kitchen sink effect. Why do the aliens look like they are from that one episode of Star Trek TOS where Kirk fights the Gorn?? In any case, if you liked Kevin Smith’s Tusk (2014) you may be delighted to find that the creature creation/effect is done by Corey McCauley who designed both Smith’s and now Faraj’s monstrosities.

One of the movie’s saving graces is the high-end CGI; the digital effects come off really well, especially on the spaceships themselves, making for some really nice shots. But like so many other indie movies, that is overshadowed by the movie’s dialogue, which comes off inauthentic and a little clunky. By the time the two groups get together, it is nearly a cast of 10 people in the cabin! And (spoiler alert) not even one of them dies – so much for any semblance of danger. I do think the actors tried their best though, and despite the unnecessarily large cast, I believe the ensemble was well constructed.

It is totally possible to do a sleek, well cast, well-scripted, teens vs alien movie – see Attack the Block (2012). Please! This was an okay attempt though. Fighting the Sky is scheduled for a February 5th release on digital streaming platforms and DVD thanks to the good folks at High Octane Pictures. If you have the time and are avoiding your Netflix queue, Fighting the Sky might make for a good watch. I think I was a little disappointed with this because the trailer and promotional posters for this movie look great – a lone girl against an empty sky on one, fighter jets at war with a giant UFO in another; feelings of a thrilling sci-fi adventure come to mind, but this movie was not the intense epic thriller the trailer and its heavy pounding score illude. For all this gripping though, I am actually not so mad at this movie as I see what they were going for and I recognize the honest effort. But with so much to watch these days this movie is honestly just okay and makes me want to go re-watch Independence Day for (probably) the 10th time.

Fighting the Sky invades digital and DVD February 5.

Fighting the Sky
RATING:UR
Runtime:1 Hr. 37Mins.
Directed By:
Written By: